Soap Matters: Restroom Hygiene in the Office

It should go without saying: washing your hands thoroughly in the restroom will prevent germs from spreading. Centres for Disease Control (CDC) confirms that washing hands with soap is the single most effective means of preventing illness. This is why restroom hygiene in the office is extremely important.

Restroom Hygiene in the Office and Gender Statistics

Guys seem to be worse than girls when it comes to restroom hygiene and hand washing. And ad campaign London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine demonstrated this. They monitored handwashing practices of men and women in a service station in response to electronic adverts. It appeared that shame, or peer pressure seemed to be an effective method. People were more inclined to lather up after seeing the ads. The most effective advert read, “Is the person next to you washing with soap?” As a result, handwashing rates increased among both men and women.

It was also noted that, among men, the more people were in the restrooms, the more likely men were to wash using soap. Men were also more responsive to ads that were designed to disgust. One of which read, “Soap it off or eat it later.” This prompted men, whereas women only needed to see simple reminders.

Gallup International Euro Poll

Gender is not the only way to predict rates of handwashing. Nationality also plays a large role. Brits are near the bottom of the polls among developing nations. 95 per cent of UK citizens claim to wash their hands after using the restroom. However, you may be shocked to learn that only around 10 per cent actually do! Unwashed hands are one of the biggest causes of food poisoning. Britons travelling abroad suffer from Delhi-belly more than Americans, Australians and Europeans.

European countries most concerned with hand hygiene are Bosnia-Herzegovina, Germany and Sweden. This is according to a Gallup International Poll, and with the Dutch being the worst. The Dutch are also known for being direct, so honesty could play a role in why the rate is high.

Down and Dirty

The reasons behind most Britons being reluctant to wash their hands can come down to two reasons. The first is that they may be unaware of how important it is to do so. However, it could also come down to sheer laziness. Some researchers have suggested that it is neither one of those, but rather mindlessness. This is why the shaming method seems to be most effective.

If people believe that their behaviour is being monitored, then they are more likely to take appropriate action. Dr Lisa Ackerly, an environmental hygiene consultant, suggests that people in the UK think they don’t carry diseases. Apparently, they believe that “they live in a county with modern facilities and think things are clean.” However, this is certainly not the case.

Hands pick up germs all day long from everything we touch. Though it is good for us to wash our hands after each time we use the restroom, we need soap! The majority of us learn this as children. You can also use the happy birthday method. If you’re wondering what we mean by this, allow us to explain.   Singing the happy birthday song twice (in your head) takes 15 seconds. This is the exact amount of time it takes for ordinary soap to take effect. What’s more, it is more effective than removing germs using hand sanitiser.

National Holidays

If you missed World Hygiene Day on the 5th May, don’t worry. Monday 15th October marks Global Handwashing Day. Wash your hands before eating and after using the restroom is the main message of Global Handwashing Day. The message is extremely important in developing nations where lack of hygiene impacts child mortality. However, the message is a good one to embrace all over the world. Remember to use soap each time you wash your hands!

Talk to Absolutely Gleaming Services

Now you know how to keep yourself and your co-workers clean with restroom hygiene, it’s time to think about the rest of your office building. Absolutely Gleaming Services are here to ensure that your offices are sparkling and as hygienic as can be. To learn more about what we can do for your commercial property, get in touch!

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